Dungeon (1) dun•geon ('d&n-j&n) n.

A dark, often underground chamber or cell used to confine prisoners.

[Middle English donjon, castle keep, dungeon, from Old French keep, probably from Medieval Latin domni, the lord's tower, from Latin dominus, master; see dem- in Indo-European Roots.]

(2) dungeon \Dun"geon\, n. [OE. donjoun highest tower of a castle, tower, prison, F. donjon tower or platform in the midst of a castle, turret, or closet on the top of a house, a keep of a castle, LL. domnio, the same word as LL. dominus lord. See Dame, Don, and cf. Dominion, Domain, Demesne, Danger, Donjon.] A close, dark prison, common?, under ground, as if the lower apartments of the donjon or keep of a castle, these being used as prisons.

(3) dungeon n : the main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress [syn: keep, donjon] 




The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition


WordNet ® 1.6

Chaos (1) chaos \'kA-"äs\ (k[=a]"[o^]s), n.

[L. chaos chaos, Gr. cha`os, fr. cha`inein (root cha) to yawn, to gape, to open widely. Cf. Chasm.]

Any confused or disordered collection or state of things; a confused mixture; confusion; disorder.


(2) chaos n

a state of extreme confusion and disorder

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

WordNet ® 1.6

A property of some non-linear dynamic systems that exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This means that there are initial states that evolve within some finite time to states whose separation in one or more dimensions of state or space depends, in an average sense, exponentially on their initial separation. Such systems may still be completely deterministic in that any future state of the system depends only on the initial conditions and the equations describing the change of the system with time. It may, however, require arbitrarily high precision to actually calculate a future state to within some finite precision.

["On defining chaos", R. Glynn Holt and D. Lynn Holt ]

Dungeon Historical Perspective

Word History: The word dungeon may have gone down in the world quite literally, if one etymology of the word is correct. Dungeon may go back to a Vulgar Latin word, domni, meaning "the lord's tower," which came from Latin dominus, "master." In Middle English, in which our word is first recorded in a work composed around the beginning of the 14th century, it meant "a fortress, castle," and "the keep of a castle" as well as "a prison cell underneath the keep of the castle." Dungeon can still mean "keep," although the usual spelling for this sense is donjon, but the meaning most usually associated with it is certainly not elevated. It is also possible that dungeon goes back to a Germanic word related to our word dung. This assumed Germanic word would have meant "an underground house constructed of dung." If this etymology is correct, the word dungeon has ended up where it began.